Notes from the Comfort / Cameron and Rational Response debate

It looks like Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron may have lost their debate due to breaking the conditions of their pre-debate bragging. Doesn't anyone remember that Ray Comfort bragged that he could win the debate without recourse to his bible? Hm. How odd - you'd think that being a Christian would keep you more honest than that.

There is an initial response to the debate posted by a person at the scene on the Richard Dawkins forum. From that response:
Ray Comfort gave his opening statement first. He didn't bring his banana, but he did have his coke can. Yes it was the old "design must have a designer" argument, over and over. By the end of the night I heard it so many times I wanted to cry. Ray talked about the universe "exploding" billions of years ago, a rock forming, and little bits of aluminum forming into the can. Later paint falls from the sky forming the words "Coke" on the side. Yes, it is absurd, just like EVIL-lution! God help me. Ray then went into his you-are-a-sinner template. So very boring.

After that Brian Sapient from the Rational Response Squad (RRS) gave his opening statement. He had to ad lib a bit addressing some of Ray's remarks directly, because Ray did bring up the 10 commandments, and supposedly this debate was going to "prove" a god (God?) exists without using the Christian bible. Brian and his partner Kelly easily refuted everything Ray said. Although Brian and Kelly obviously had rationality and honesty on their side, Ray and Kirk Cameron were the better public speakers by far. That wasn't a surprise though.

Who won the debate? I was under the impression that Ray and Kirk were not going to rely on their bible to prove their god exists scientifically. By that standard they both broke the rules by referring to the bible multiple times, and proved nothing with their argument from design, so they failed. If there were any rational fence sitters out there I would assume they must agree. As for the respective choirs on each side, I'm sure they both thought their side won completely.
I can see that Ray and Kirk used their patent-pending "argument from stupidity". They also tried to say that Einstein was a Christian, but were shouted down by the audience who knew better.

Oh, and the quote-mined Richard Dawkins, on television, from his best selling book, "The God Delusion." I'll make sure to have that book handy while I view the video so I can get the full context of that sort of dishonesty.

But creationists are frequently dishonest about quoting other scientists, aren't they?


revmatty said...

It is a peculiar conceit of religious fundamentalists (particularly but not limited to Christians) that lying is AOK as long as you're doing it for the right reasons. Further, a small but fanatic subset genuinely believe that it's not only OK but actually required to lie to non-believers in the attempt to convert them.

Funny how they decry moral relativism whilst practicing it fervently.


Calladus said...

I once asked about that - if it were okay to lie while witnessing if it would get the sinner into church.

The answer, from a couple of different preachers, was in effect that it depended on the lie.

Fibs, lying by omission, misleading statements, even forms of bait and switch were all okay.

Shoot, they even got me with that as a teenager. I, along with other teens, were promised that we would see, "God's Magic" at a youth event. The connotation was of miracles.

It was a magic show, with the pastor doing card tricks and joining rings together.

AmberKatt said...

Fibs, lying by omission, misleading statements, even forms of bait and switch were all okay.

Hmm... so in effect, they're saying God is a slick, cheesy used car salesman. God sure has an odd sense of the "glory" he wants given to him....

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone,

Just to be the voice of the "religious fundamentalist" on the Christian side, never does Christianity condone or encourage lying, misleading, fibbing etc. in order "get the sinner into church." Please don't mistake the hypocrisy of a few "preachers" you have spoken to for the teaching of the Bible. I don't doubt there are people who say that, but they are not representing the teachings of Jesus. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John etc. in the New Testament and you would see that quite clearly.